Huw Llywelyn Rees


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26th June

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By: Huw Llywelyn Rees
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The Millennium stadium was opened this day 1999 in Cardiff.

The Millennium Stadium is the National Stadium of Wales and the home of the Welsh National rugby union team, it was was built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup.  It replaced Cardiff Arms Park, which had a capacity of only 53,000 and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced the capacity to 47,500.  In addition to the problems of capacity, it was well hidden by the neighbouring buildings and access to the ground was also very restricted.

*  The first major event to be held was an international rugby match on 26 June 1999 when Wales beat South Africa by 29–19,  the first time they had ever beaten the Springboks.

*  It has a seating capacity of 74,500, additional seating can be added and the current record attendance is 74,576, recorded at Wales' 30–15 victory over Scotland in 2008

*  It is the second largest stadium in the world with a fully retractable roof and by capacity, it is the largest rugby stadium in the world with this feature.

*  The total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million.

*  The natural grass turf  is laid on top of some 7,412 pallets which can be moved so the stadium can be used for concerts, exhibitions and other events.

*  Further stadium development is expected to commence before  2020which will make the stadium bowl shaped and will increase capacity to approximately 80,000. 

*  In each of the stadium's bars, so-called "joy machines" can pour 12 pints in less than 20 seconds. During a Wales Vs France match, 63,000 fans drank 77,184 pints of beer.

*  The stadium has a resident hawk named "Dad", who is employed to drive seagulls and pigeons out of the stadium.

Today is the feast day of Saint Branoc ( c.550 )

The Saint who sailed from Wales to Devon in a stone coffin and established a monastery. ( This coffin could have been a ‘lech’ or tombstone which all the Celtic saints supposedly carried with them on their pilgrimages)

When Branoc arrived in Braunton in Devon the  area was covered in forest  and Branoc began teaching the pagan natives about more productive farming techniques, as well as trying to convert them to Christianity.  The site of his monastery was given to him in a dream in which an angel told him to build it where he found a white sow suckling seven piglets.  

Another story tells us of the thieves who killed Branoc's favourite cow and put it in a pot of water to cook, however, the water would not heat and Brannoc was able to breathe life back into the cow to revive it.  The Braunton crest features Brannock with a cow resting behind him.  sdfwefwe

Born this day 1885 in Rhydcymerau,

D. J. Williams (David John Williams)  - Prominent Welsh nationalist and one of the most respected, twentieth century Welsh-language writers. 

Williams  studied English at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and Jesus College, Oxford and for most of his life, he taught English at the Grammer School in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.  He was one of the founders of  Plaid Cymru and along with Saunders Lewis and Lewis Valentine, spent nine months in prison in 1936 for the protest burning of a bombing school at Penyberth in north-west Wales.



The "drought of the century" -  June–September 1976

This was the period when Wales and the rest of the U.K. sweltered under the heat of consistent temperatures of between 26.7°C and 32.2°C.  There was virtually no rainfall and rivers almost stopped flowing.  It was the driest period in recorded history in the U.K and the situation was so severe that the government appointed Drought Committee, which implemented a hosepipe ban and  advised people to use washing up water to flush water and to bathe in no more than five inches of water.